Ray Lewis - Page 17 - THROUGH THE YEARS (2)

Ray Lewis
- Page 17

Off field: It’s another season waylaid by injuries as Lewis misses the final 10 games of the year after surgery to repair a torn hamstring.

On field: The Ravens finish 6-10 without their defensive leader. ... Lewis accumulates 77 tackles in six games.


On field: With Lewis back in the lineup for 14 games, the Ravens lead the league in total defense and scoring defense as they invite comparisons to the record-setting 2000 unit. The team finishes with a 13-3 regular-season mark, the best in Ravens history. ... On Sept. 10, Lewis records 10 tackles and a sack in a season-opening victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. ... Lewis leads the team with164 tackles.

Honors: Lewis is AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 1 and makes another Pro Bowl.


Off field: Lewis questions Billick’s play-calling during a gloomy 5-11 season. Billick is fired after the season. On field: The year opens with a disappointing home playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts and finishes with the worst season in Lewis’ tenure. ... On Jan. 13, Lewis records 23 tackles as the Ravens hold Peyton Manning and the Colts without a touchdown in an emotionally charged showdown. But Baltimore loses, 15-6. ...“Thebottomline is,whatwedid as a defense, nobody expected that. What we did, winning the AFC North, nobody expected that,” Lewis says a few weeks later. “So to say that the window is closing, I think the window is just opening for the things thatwe’re trying to do.” ... The Ravens fall to 5-11 in the 2007 regular season. ... Lewis leads the team with184 tackles.

Honors: Lewis makes his ninth Pro Bowl.


On field: The Ravens begin a new era and return to the playoffs under coach John Harbaugh. Lewis leads the secondranked defense in the NFL with 160 tackles. ... Lewis shows up for training camp with 15 pounds of extra muscle. ... The season begins with questions about how Lewis and Harbaugh will get along. Both downplay the storyline. ... ... “It’s getting to the point with Ray where it’s almost ridiculous,” Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan says of the linebacker’s long-termexcellence.

Honors: Lewis makes his 10th Pro Bowl and is named first-team All-Pro by the AP.


Off field: Team owner Steve Bisciotti and Harbaugh say they want to re-sign Lewis, but in a Pro Bowl interview, the linebacker says he won’t take a hometown discount and is intrigued by other destinations. ... OnMarch 4, Lewis agrees to a three-year deal and says he plans to retire as a Raven.

On field: The year begins with a painful loss to the Steelers in the AFC championship game and talk that Lewis could sign elsewhere as a free agent. ... Lewis makes nine tackles and forces a fumble in the 23-14 AFC championship loss to the Steelers. ... Lewis finishes the regular season with 164 tackles, again tops on the team.

Honors: Lewis is named first-team All-Proby theAP. ...TheProFootballHall of Fame committee names Lewis to the NFL All-Decade team for 2000 to 2009.


On field: On Jan. 10, Lewis records 13 tackles and his first postseason sack as the Ravens crush the New England Patriots in the playoff opener. The season ends with a 20-3 loss in Indianapolis the next week ... On Oct. 24, Lewis starts his 200th career game and leads the Ravens with 14 tackles and a sack in a win over the Buffalo Bills. Lewis again leads the playoff-bound Ravens in tackles.

Honors: Lewis is named to his 12th Pro Bowl.


On field: Despite missing four games with a foot injury, Lewis leads the NFL’s third-ranked defense in tackles. ...On Jan. 15, the Ravens lose a divisional playoff game to the Steelers after leading 21-7. ... On Sept. 25, Lewis earns AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for making 10 tackles in a 37-7 win over the Rams. ... On Oct. 16, with a sack against the Texans, Lewis becomes the first player in NFL history with 40 sacks and 30 interceptions.

Honors: Lewis is selected to his 13th Pro Bowl and an NFL Network player survey names the 36-year-old the fourthbest player in the league and the best defender.


Off field: Asked whether he’ll know when to walk away, Lewis says: “I believe you always know. When you go at life as hard as I go at this game, you knowwhen it’s over.” After a triceps injury imperils his season, the Ravens activate him from injured reserve in time to be eligible for the last few games of the regular season and the playoffs. He doesn’t get into any of the final regular-season games.

Onfield: OnJan. 22, the Ravens lose in the AFC championship game to the Patriots; Lewis ties for the teamlead with 12 tackles. ... “Is this my last game as a Raven? Absolutely not,” Lewis says after the game. “Let me answer that question before somebody asks it.” ... Lewis shows up for training camp at least 20 pounds lighter, saying quickness is more important thanpower in the pass-happyNFL.... He makes 57 tackles in the first six games of the season before tearing his right triceps.


Off field: On Jan. 2, as the Ravens prepare for their first playoff game against the Colts, Lewis tells his teammates, then the media, that “this will be my last ride.”…He spends much of Super Bowl week answering questions about his alleged use of deer antler velvet spray after an article appears in Sports Illustrated. … In March, ESPN makes the widely anticipated announcement that it has hiredLewis to appear asan analyston its Sunday and Monday night NFL coverage … On Sept. 22, Lewis becomes the seventh Ravens player to enter the team’s Ring of Honor at M&T Bank Stadium.

Onfield: Lewismakes his returnin the Ravens’ playoff game against Indianapolis on Jan. 6, his last at M&T Bank Stadium. He makes 13 tackles against the Colts as the Ravens advance with a 24-9 victory. ... On Jan. 12 in a 38-35 overtime win over the Denver Broncos in the AFC divisional playoffs, Lewis has17 tackles. ... In the AFC championship game against the Patriots,Lewis has14 tackles in a 28-13 victory that puts the Ravens into the Super Bowl. ... In Lewis’ final game, a 34-31win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on Feb. 3, he has seven tackles.


On Sept. 4, the Ravens unveil a bronze statue of Lewis outside M&T Bank Stadium, near the existing statue of former Colts star Johnny Unitas. At the ceremony, Lewis, clad in a dark suit and sunglasses, performs his signature squirrel dance and gives an emotional speech in which he thanks many of the people who helped him in Baltimore.


Lewis joins dozens of current and former Ravens who visit West Baltimore neighborhoods in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death in police custody. The players distribute food to families and try to lift the spirits of anxious, hurting students at area schools.


Lewis angers activists when he suggests the Black Lives Matter movement should focus on black-on-black violence more than police misconduct. … ESPN parts ways with Lewis after three years, bringing a disappointing end to his initial foray into the media. … Lewis ruffles feathers with his old team during a Fox Sports 1 appearance when he questions the passion of quarterback Joe Flacco.


Fox Sports hires Lewis in June, announcing that he will appear on a range of programs, including “Undisputed” with Skip Bayless and former teammate Shannon Sharpe, and “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd. … Lewis inserts himself into the controversy surrounding former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, questioning Kaepernick’s commitment to football and saying the Ravens would have signed Kaepernick if his girlfriend had not posted a “racist” tweet portraying Lewis as Bisciotti’s lackey. … Lewis kneels with Ravens players during the national anthem played before the team’s Sept. 24 game in London. He says he was praying rather than protesting, but angry fans draft a petition calling for the removal of his statue outsideM&T Bank Stadium.


Lewis is elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.